By Deborah Bailey,
AFRO D.C. News Editor
Bowie State University’s Department of Fine Arts is showing the world there is a direct route between Highway 197, Broadway, the runway and innovation.
The “little campus” between Laurel and Bowie has become a powerhouse in the arts, science and business and just recently, students are gaining recognition for artistic talent, design and Entrepreneurship.
This week, Bowie State University student Myles Frost has been nominated for Best performance in a leading role in a musical. Frost’s nomination came for his performance as Michael Jackson in the musical “MJ” now performing on Broadway.
Tewodross W. Williams, chair of the Fine and Performing Arts Department, said shortly after the announcement, “I am overcome with joy. “When I saw him perform on Broadway in March, I knew he was a special talent,” said Professor Williams.
“The entire Bowie State University family is supporting him and will be watching intently when the Tony Award winners are announced on CBS on June 12.”
A native Washingtonian raised in Southeast, Frost attended Thomas Wootton High School in Montgomery County Maryland where he began his acting career before enrolling at Bowie State University. He is a Music Technology major at the University’s Department of Fine Arts.
While Frost may be the most recognizable student emerging from the Fine Arts Building at Bowie State University, he is far from the only one.
You may have noticed Target Stores nationwide included a line of clothing by black designers during Black History Month this past February. One of those designers was Bowie State University senior, Sharone Townsend.
Townsend, a senior at the University, was named one of three national winners of Target’s HCBU Design Challenge for Black History Month. Townsend, who was a finalist in the competition last year, started his label, Stranger Than Nature at Bowie State University.
“It was just one of those moments that I was so proud of him,” said Danielle Brown, Instructor of Fashion Design in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts.
Townsend, like many students at Bowie State, has an opportunity to market his products and services right on campus due to the campus’ new Entrepreneurship Living/Learning Center, which opened to students at the start of the 2022 academic year.
“The new Entrepreneurship Living/Learning Center has enabled the campus to have a home for our entrepreneurial ventures and activities,” said Dr. Johnetta Hardy, Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Innovation Center.
The new 500-bed residence hall and hub for entrepreneurial activity on campus allows students like Townsend to take advantage of a variety of workshops and courses that enable them to take their original ideas from vision to finished product.
Winners in the Center’s signature event, the “Bulldog Pitch” Entrepreneurship Competition, were announced earlier this month, with $12,000 first-place winner Jonathan Gorum, Senior business major.
Gorum’s winning pitch was for Gorum’s Exclusiveekicks LLC., his aftermarket company connecting customers with 100% authentic, limited, sought-after items such as shoes, apparel, gaming consoles, and other popular products.
“We have the Bulldog Pitch Competition to prepare students for the real world,” said Hardy.
Hardy said the goal is to prepare students to understand how to present and leverage their products and services with investors.
“This isn’t ‘Shark Tank’ but we hope our competition will instill in our students the planning and work that is required to be invited to appear on the ABC Network program or present to other potential investors,” she concluded.
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